Firefly Lane explores the lifetime bond between two women who meet as middle school girls. The series on Netflix details 30 years of their lives and friendship.
Firefly Lane is not told in linear order. The story skips around from the 1970s to the early 2000s. We are supposed to keep track of years based on hair styles, music, glasses styles, and the number of wrinkles shown on the stars faces.
I think This Is Us may have ended linear storytelling for an entire generation. I see the attraction. It allows writers to tease things several episodes in advance and hold back secrets.
Most of the time the story lives in the 2000s, with flashbacks filling in to give meaning to the present.
The series was created by Maggie Friedman from the novel by Kristin Hannah. Although a second season hasn’t been announced as of this writing, the open questions and cliffhangers at the end of season 1 indicate a need for more.
Young Tully (Ali Skovbye) and Young Kate (Roan Curtis) meet in the 8th grade and bond forever. Tully is on fire and everyone swarms around her. Kate is quieter, less rebellious, and surprised that Tully likes her. They live next door to each other on Firefly Lane.
Tully’s mom, Cloud (Beau Garrett), is an addict. She’s mostly stoned and a terrible mother. Tully’s childhood was one long trauma.
Kate has an intact family with Margie (Chelah Horsdal) and Bud (Paul McGillion) as parents and a brother Sean (Quinn Lord as a teen and Jason McKinnon as an adult). Kate’s family seems more ordinary, but is full of issues that don’t get dealt with for many years.
As adults, Tully is played by Katherine Heigl and Kate by Sarah Chalke. The power of the series comes from these two women who shine with brilliant chemistry and love for each other no matter what happens.
There are so few films and series about enduring love between women friends that this series stands out for that reason. As much as women love and depend on their friends to survive living, you’d think there would be more such stories. These two are rock solid – most of the time. Don’t listen to any male critic who belittles their relationship. If you’re a woman, I hope you’re lucky enough to have this kind of friendship.
Tully becomes a local celebrity as an adult. She has a daytime TV show and is recognized everywhere she goes. Men cycle through her life, the most important is the one she meets in her 40s, Max (Jon-Michael Ecker).
Kate becomes a writer and TV producer, which means she works close to Tully. She marries Johnny (Ben Lawson), a man both Tully and Kate worked for from the first. They have a daughter, Marah (Yael Yurman), who is a teen in most of the episodes.
Obviously the friendship motif dominates the story. But there are also thematic elements around parenting, infidelity, coming out, sexual assault, sexism in the workplace, and forgiveness. There are some comic elements, especially from Sarah Chalke, but drama is the motivator.
Women directed 6 of the 10 episodes in season 1. They are Vanessa Parise, Lee Rose, and Anne Wheeler.
The trailer emphasizes the passage of time.
Have you watched this series? What did you think of the women’s friendship? Did it make you appreciate your friends?